Jill Villanueva Palarca

AS OF this writing, our country logged in its highest number of Covid-19 cases in a day. But the Delta variant is not the only thing after the kids now. Across the continent, the Taliban has taken over – the Afghan women lost their rights overnight and small children are being tossed over fences for survival. Meanwhile, other parts of the world are being shaken and burned to the ground. And in the midst of all that, we even have leaders lying through their teeth. 

Pandemic. War. Disaster. Corruption. I see the world unravel on screen and I couldn’t help but clutch my baby tighter. Will my child survive the apocalypse?

At this point, it’s not even melodramatic to consider that the end of the world might just be around the corner. Futurists are making predictions on what’s going to happen in 2050. My daughter will be 30 years old by that time; at the prime of her life, and if I’m lucky, I’d still be alive in my 70s. 

This is one of the disadvantages of having a child late in life. There’s always this fear of leaving her behind earlier than usual. I admit, although I am fully-vaccinated, I’m scared that the virus will get me. It’s not because I don’t trust the vaccine. I just know that I fall off the fitness bar. At my age, I’ve already seen a doctor for every organ of my body.

In 2020, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) recorded a total of 1,403,336 live births in the country. My daughter’s part of this baby boom. I’m a Gen X parent to an Alpha Generation kid. And that alone is unusual because statistics say that the Alpha Generation – those born from 2010 and will still be born until the mid-2020s – are mostly children by the Millennials, also called Gen Y. Although we differ in attitude and taste, I can’t help but follow some, if not most, of their parenting styles because I am part of this first-time parents club. I’m just one of the oldest members. 

Our kids – this Alpha Generation – were born not just with birth certificates but also with their own Instagram accounts. Their parents; me included, rely on Apps, Facebook groups, and Google for guidance. I have an App to monitor my baby’s heart rate and blood oxygen while sleeping. I have another App where I log her number of diaper changes and sleep hours. And another App for meal planning to track food that she likes or hates. It tells me if I have given her enough grow, glow, and go foods. I even have an App that decodes what her cries mean. That one’s just silly. 

Pre-pandemic, we’ve already been worried about how Climate Change offers a bleak future to our children. If this virus will eventually turn endemic, our kids will have to live with it. And as we speak, this so-called new normal is already changing lifestyles, redefining relationships, and possibly conjuring new aspirations. 

Hollywood usually paints a dark post-apocalyptic world. It’s either zombies, robots, or aliens. Kidding aside, I can’t help but wonder whether my child would actually survive any of these freaky invasions or if a meteor hit Earth and the remaining land will be desolate.  

So, I tell her, if indeed they’re building an Ark somewhere, Anak (my child), you need to be a scientist or someone really important like Brad Pitt in World War Z, or better yet be an engineer like Melanie Cavill and help build a train like Snowpiercer, so you’ll have first-class tickets and be in the priority list! 

When she reaches the right age, I should enroll her in martial arts for possible hand-to-hand combat with looters. I should set up an obstacle course in the lawn – American Ninja Warrior style – in case she needs to run across rooftops. Gymnastics would come in handy. She should know how to write Code and be able to hack her way into computer programs should artificial intelligence seize the government. And I think she must know how to fly a plane in case she needs to escape. 

Will my child lead a revolution like John Connor or be a martyr like Jyn Orsu? Seriously, this was all in the back of my head when I was pregnant. Blame the crazy hormones. I wanted to claim strength, grit, and leadership for my rainbow baby. Hence, I named her Andy. 

I was watching a film on Netflix entitled The Old Guard. And the heroine played by Charlize Theron was an immortal committed (or cursed) to save the world. Her name was Andromache of Scythia (pronounced an-DRAA-muh-kee). Her fellow immortal buddies call her Andy. I really wanted to name my child Andromache but I was wary of bullies and some teacher butchering the pronunciation of her name. And of course, you’ve got the grandparents. Enough said. So, we settled with Andrea which also means Fighter of Men – a warrior.

I want my child to grow up knowing the meaning of her name so that she may live by it; because mommy won’t be here forever. And in my age, I might not even be there to see her at her prime. She doesn’t have siblings. Her cousins are far away. Her classmates will possibly still be on screen. And she will expectedly outlive her dog. The post-pandemic world will see a lot of these lonely children. How are we going to prepare them?

As I was pondering this, God gave me the answer through a blog post written by an American youth pastor named Alex Cravens. He wrote: 

“Don’t feel sorry for or fear for your kids because the world they are going to grow up in is not what it used to be. God created them and called them for the exact moment in time that they’re in. Their life wasn’t a coincidence or an accident. Raise them up to know the power they walk in as children of God. Train them up in the authority of His Word. Teach them to walk in faith knowing that God is in control. Empower them to know they can change the world. Don’t teach them to be fearful and disheartened by the state of the world but hopeful that they can do something about it. Every person in all of history has been placed in the time that they were in because of God’s sovereign plan. He knew Daniel could handle the lion’s den. He knew David could handle Goliath. He knew Esther could handle Haman. He knew Peter could handle persecution. He knows that your child can handle whatever challenge they face in their life if they trust in Him. He created them specifically for it! Don’t be scared for your children, but be honored that God chose you to parent the generation that is facing the biggest challenges of our lifetime. Rise up to the challenge. Raise Daniels, Davids, Esthers and Peters! God isn’t scratching His head wondering what He’s going to do with this mess of a world. He has an army He’s raising up to drive back the darkness and make Him known all over the earth. Don’t let your fear steal the greatness God placed in them. I know it’s hard to imagine them as anything besides our sweet little babies, and we just want to protect them from anything that could ever be hard on them, but they were born for such a time as this.”

Truly, this generation fits the name, Alpha. 

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Source: Mindanao Times ( https://mindanaotimes.com.ph/2021/08/25/forty-something-first-time-mom-will-my-child-survive-the-apocalypse/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=forty-something-first-time-mom-will-my-child-survive-the-apocalypse)